Last year, I decided to offer a workshop on breaking into online/print pubs and how to pitch properly. I posted about it regularly on FB and Twitter.
I asked a few of my influential Twitter friends to tweet out the info. And they did. And the response I got was huge. And then I sent out an email and asked my influential publishing industry friends to forward. And they did. And the response was huge.
And I got lots of folks. And I had to rent a bigger space. And a good time was had by all. I loved it. LOVED. I decided I wanted to have a workshop monthly forever and ever amen.
I did a repeat performance a few months later. But I could not bring myself to ask folks to disseminate the information again. I just posted on my own. Still got a decent turnout.
But then what? I had no idea how to keep the momentum up. I had gotten a head start from my friends. But I didn’t have any confidence to try it again. What would I do? Post on FB and Twitter every day again? Then everyone would hate me…
How would I reach a larger audience without having a budget for ads and such? How could I organically grow a community that would enthusiastically carry my message? Instead of just begging?
I asked my mentor. Her answer was swift.
“Why don’t you have a Fan Page? That’s precisely what it’s for.”
Ugh. A Fan Page.
When I joined Facebook, a few folks told me to create a separate fan page for myself. I could not bring myself to do that.
I felt like: Who do you think you are? What makes you think someone wants to be your Fan as opposed to being your Friend?
I will be honest. I have a very hard time joining Fan Pages. Because once I join, I will get all the updates. And I may love you. But I may not love whatever you’re pushing.
The word “fan” has always bothered me. When celebrities say, “I do this for my fans!” or “I love my fans.” it makes me feel weird. I could never ever refer to the people who read my books as my fans. I call them my dear readers or my supporters or my community.
So, the very title fan page turned me off the entire concept. I decided my personal Facebook Page would be my one-stop-shop. Which meant that I simply added every. single. person who requested.
I mean, there are some exceptions of course. Like if I hate you. Or if you have no profile picture. Or your name is John PopthatCoochie. Or we dated in eleventh grade and you were still in love with your ex and just wouldn’t admit it and then ended up dating some chick who wanted to fight me in a supermarket parking lot. (I kid, Darnell, I kid. Except not really. Remember your girlfriend wanted to fight me in the supermarket parking lot?)
Also? Fan pages are blatant marketing. I’m not good at that. sad but true. A fan page says, I am good enough. I am smart enough. And Doggone it people like me!
And then, fan pages are open to anybody. So even John PopThatCoochie would be able to lurk and see my stuff. And I don’t just post about writing. I post about cooking and braiding hair and running and everything else. I don’t know if how I share on Social Media would work on a Fan page. I’d have to switch up my flow.
And I don’t think people realize that its quality over quantity on a fan pages. If you have 100 fans and 50 of them are there because they like you personally, or they’re married to you, or they work for you, or they gave birth to you…it’s not going to be what it should be.
I know for a fact that having a small community of people who are true fans is a thousand times more valuable than a large group of fans who are made up primarily of people who clicked Like because why not.
I see invites to Like pages and I feel bad when I don’t do it. How do you not support your bestie from third grade? She’s finally getting her customized iphone cover/hand-knit scarves/homemade candles company off the ground and you can’t do something as simple as Liking her page? Trifling.
But I believe that someone who just clicked it to click it is ultimately more damaging than helpful.
Example: I hit up one of my fellow writers when my first book dropped. I’m sure in the back of my mind (or the very front), I was wondering if he would tell his 5 trillion Friends to pick up my book.
His response when I asked him in a private message if he’d read the book:
“…i saw an excerpt or something somewhere and rolled my eyes.
luckily, i seriously doubt i’m in your demographic.”
Now C’mon y’all, do I really want this guy to be a Fan of my page? Is he going to help build my community? No and no. And that’s totally fine. [But damn kris ex, you gotta be so harsh? Ugh.]
So here I am. I had writer’s block for nearly a year. And then as swiftly as a fast-moving storm, it all came back. And there’s so much I want to do to take things to the next level. Sometimes I want to interact **specifcally** with people who are connected to me because they like, read and respect my work. So how do I connect with just those folks? Oh. Start a Fan Page. Duh.
So I’m gonna do it… However…
I once saw a post from an author who had recently started a Fan Page. He announced that he was defriending every one but close friends and family from his Facebook account and invited all to join his Fan Page instead.
I can’t tell you what happened next cause I got de-friended.
Now, do you think I clicked Like on his Fan Page?
Dear Readers: How do I transition my FB presence? Is a fan page a must-have? What do authors do differently on fan pages than they do on regular Facebook Pages? Are there authors with Fan Pages that really work? Talk to me!